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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Prospects Cup features 16 boys' u-12 teams from nine countries including the U.S.

Youth football kicks into high gear next week. Sixteen boys' under-12 teams from nine countries will compete at the Prospects Cup, which runs from Dec. 18-22 in Kissimee, Fla.

Representing the United States are FC Dallas (Frisco, TX), Global Premier Soccer (Boston, MA), LA Galaxy (Los Angeles, CA), Orlando City SC (Orlando, FL), Real Jersey FC (Medford, NJ), Sockers FC (Chicago, IL), Tuzos Soccer Club (Phoenix, AZ) and Weston Soccer Club (Miami, FL).

Meanwhile, competing international teams are AS...

Weston McKennie on breakout 2017 from Schalke U19s to U.S. debut

Weston McKennie chats with ESPN about the future of the USMNT, why he's happy he bypassed MLS for the Bundesliga and more.
Teenager Weston McKennie scored a debut goal, but the U.S. had to settle for a draw at Portugal after a goalkeeping howler.

It has been some year for Weston McKennie. In just a couple of months, the United States youngster has catapulted himself from Schalke's under-19 team to the USMNT. One thing, though, has not changed: his attitude.

"I'm still young. I have a lot of time to fix things. It's just how it is," said the 19-year-old when he sat down with ESPN FC in late November. Schalke had just sealed a remarkable turnaround in the prestigious Revierderby at Borussia Dortmund. Going into half-time with a 4-0 deficit,...

 By Noah Davis

Gulati absence means it doesn't matter who wins USSF presidential election

Former U.S. international Brian McBride reacts to U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati's decision to not seek re-election in 2018.
Herculez Gomez, Kasey Keller and Ale Moreno are incredulous after MLS commissioner Don Garber's comments regarding the U.S.'s WCQ failure.
Taylor Twellman says that watching the World Cup draw without USMNT involvement should be a wake-up call and motivation for U.S. Soccer.

On Tuesday, candidates hoping to win February's United States Soccer Federation presidential election will formally submit the paperwork announcing their intention to run.

At the time of writing, the list of people hoping to fill the position Sunil Gulati has held since 2006 is long and varied: Former U.S. international Paul Caligiuri; current soccer executive Kathy Carter; current USSF vice-president Carlos Cordeiro; Boston-based attorney Steve Gans; Springfield, Massachusetts-based businessman...

Who's who in the race to be the next U.S. Soccer Federation president

Former U.S. international Brian McBride reacts to U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati's decision to not seek re-election in 2018.
Max Bretos and Herculez Gomez delve into Kyle Martino's decision to leave NBC Sports to run for president of U.S. Soccer.
Herculez Gomez explains why he doesn't think Sunil Gulati's position as president of U.S. Soccer is at risk.
Ian Darke shares his thoughts on the U.S. missing the World Cup in his first appearance on ESPN FC since their loss at T&T.
The FC panel share their thoughts on Landon Donovan's potential bid to challenge Sunil Gulati for the U.S. Soccer presidency.
When it comes to the changes that need to be made within U.S. Soccer, ESPN FC's Herculez Gomez starts at the top.

This is an updated version of a feature that was originally published on Oct. 25. 

With current U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati announcing that he will not run for re-election, the USSF is poised to have new leadership for the first time in more than a decade.

Gulati's decision has served to make an already chaotic race even more wide open. There are now eight candidates who have announced they will run to replace him, and the list seems to fall into two categories: Those with...

World Cup qualifying failure meant Gulati had to go but his legacy is far-reaching

Former U.S. international Brian McBride reacts to U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati's decision to not seek re-election in 2018.

It took a while, but Sunil Gulati finally arrived at the decision that many in the broader U.S. soccer community had hoped he would: He will not run for another term as U.S. Soccer Federation president.

Gulati made the announcement on Monday and it's the right move. Yes, he has overseen a period of unprecedented growth for the USSF in particular and the sport of soccer in general. He has also represented U.S. interests well in political circles due to his spot on the FIFA Council. 

But...

 By Noah Davis

Despite missing World Cup, U.S. soccer fans have plenty to watch in 2018

ESPN FC's Herculez Gomez explains why he was an outlier coming up in a flawed system where many talented U.S. prospects fall through the cracks.
The guys discuss Bruce Arena's TV appearance, Mexico's successful international break and how to fix the MLS Cup playoffs.
The FC crew react to Bruce Arena's comments during the U.S.'s draw at Portugal and a possible event for World Cup outcasts.
Teenager Weston McKennie scored a debut goal, but the U.S. had to settle for a draw at Portugal after a goalkeeping howler.

On the heels of a disastrous 2017 campaign, supporters of the United States men's national team are no doubt looking forward to 2018 with excitement -- except that 2018 looks pretty dismal, as well. No Stars and Stripes at the World Cup. No games that matter. No excitement. No thrill. Gosh, that's depressing.

But it's not entirely accurate. While the Americans will miss the biggest tournament next summer and don't start qualifying for the 2022 edition until 2019, there are some reasons to be...